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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBCW  April 16, 2013 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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>> i got closer to the sidewalk, it was just a pile of bodies and blood on the scene. it was just, just a horrible scene like it was a spielberg horror movie but it was real so it all hit home pretty quickly. >> i'm thomas roberts. terror in boston tops the agenda this hour. who did this and why? much remains unanswered but the consequences of this act resulted in three people killed including an 8-year-old boy. massachusetts governor putting the number of casualties at 176. including the three dead. total number of people, though, 17 of them injured critically. twin blasts ripping through the boston marathon route ian a point more than 40% of the runners usually finish. >> you could smell it. it was like a gun powder smell. a cloud. whole street was just nothing but a cloud of smoke. people scrambling. >> the immediate area where the
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blast happened is closed. the fbi now leading a sweeping investigation and asking the public to please send in their photos, their videos and they're vowing to scour every frame, every piece of video for answers. boston's leaders this morning asking for vigilance and promising the city will bounce back. >> everyone should expect continued heightened police presence and everyone should continue personally to be vigilant. >> bad day for boston but i think if we pull together we'll get through it. we're a strong city. people willing to work together to make it a better place for all of our people. >> we want to thank those from around the country and world whose prayers and thoughts and offers of help have poured in. we're deeply grateful as mayor says, boston will survive. >> at the white house, the american flag is at half staff. the president getting regular briefings this morning about the ongoing response and the investigation. this morning, he signed a
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proclamation in honor of the victims and yesterday at dinner time he promised a relentless search for answers. >> make no mistake. we will get to the bottom of this and we'll find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. >> joining me now at the top of the hour, msnbc's chris jansing, correspondent michael isicoff and michael leiter here, as well. chris, i want to begin with you as you spent an hour on site there talking with people that have been dealing with this tragedy. i think one of the more interesting things revealed was the fact that the police department is calling this the most complex crime scene that they have ever encountered. >> it is not surprising, i don't think, thomas. that crime scene processed just a few blocks behind where i'm sitting but bostonians as people
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around the country trying to process what happened here, huge headline in "the boston globe" that says marathon error and very, very graphic picture of what happened here almost indescribable. 176 people as you talked about injured. including brothers. they had gone to watch a friend run the race. their mother with five children got a call. both of her sons lost a leg. and then you talked about the youngest victim, the 8-year-old. his mother had brain surgery. his other sibling also lost a leg. so the tragedy, the depth of the tragedy here, almost indescribable. and we heard a briefing earlier from mass general hospital that these bombs were designed for maximum damage. the pellets, some of them embedded 10, 20 in a single individual. there is the flip side of this. and that is, the extraordinary
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response and that's what a lot of people are talking about here this morning. how people when this bomb exploded ran toward the scene and inevitably saved lives by their quick response. using everything from an apron from someone in a local restaurant to a credential to do a turn yet and i think the final thing that people are talking about here is the resilience of this area. inevitab inevitably, what's it mean for the boggs on tston marathon? everyone says that not just survive but thrive and without a doubt this is a city in deep shock and in mourning for what happened here less than 24 hours ago, thomas. >> chris, we are just learning
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that the president is making remarks coming up this morning at 11:30 a.m. we'll carry them live here on msnbc. michael, i want to turn to you and talk about a search for answers in all of this. the fbi searched an apartment in boston overnight. apparently reportedly linked to someone questioned at the scene. but what more do we know about that search and that apartment and that bystander? >> well, look, first of all. evidence was taken from that apartment. we saw law enforcement agents leaving with bags, gym bags and trash bags but the important thing to point out, robert -- and it was just made clear by boston police commissioner davis that there are no -- there's nobody in custody. there's no suspects right now who the fbi has. so, this is -- remains a wide open investigation. you heard the pleas for
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photographs and videos of the public. that's pretty telling in and of itself that the investigators still need more evidence. i did talk a little while ago to a former top federal bomb expert who had some pretty interesting things to say about where this is going. this was a very powerful blast. two bombs went off very quickly within ten seconds and that suggests that there could have been more than one perpetrator here. >> michael, reporting on the scene and chris jansing, my thanks to both of you and bringing in now on the telephone is former massachusetts congressman barney frank. sir, it's good to have you with us this morning. i want to get you first, though, where were you when you first heard about this and the reaction when you learned of these explosions? >> i was in new haven. i spoke last night at a long-standing agreement to speak to the yale political union. and i was -- my husband called
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me. i just checked in to my hotel. he called to give me the terrible news. >> sir, when you heard the details of the reporting from our chris jansing -- >> could you speak a little bit louder? >> yeah. the fact that we're coming up on a 24-hour period where we don't have more definitive answers about where the investigation is leading, when you hear about some of the details that have been reported and with your background information of working in d.c. for so long, how affirmed are you that the homeland security department and through their years of expertise in dealing with scenes like this will be able to track down the proper leads, to get to the answers? >> the answer is nobody knows. look. i have to tell you, there's a terrible temptation. this is an awful event. people try very hard but there's a temptation for us to tell people more than we know. i don't know. i'm very hopeful. i will say this and i hope --
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look. the time has come to talk about what we do know. let's be thankful we have spent our tax money to build up the capacity to do this, thankful of a police department, a fire department and public health people. you know, it's fashionable these days for people in my line of work to brag about cut and reduce government. i'm glad they weren't successful. this is an enormously expensive undertaking. large numbers of people and people complaining they're paid too much. well, i hope we have the best possible people. i hope we have people who are the investigators, scientific investigators, personality people who can do this. and i hope they're going to be able to get answers but i don't see how anybody can know right now. >> sir, one thing that was written this morning about "boston globe" column miist and said it's left with an unnerving proposition. a homegrown, lunatic, foreign
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inspired or sponsored, we'll never feel safe in our own town. i know you said you want to feel optimistic. what's your message of people of boston and massachusetts? >> that's greatly hyperbolic. we have a terrible attack. thousands of people killed. many more on 9/11. i'm sitting here in the new haven train station now about to take a train to manhattan and i feel safe. again, this is awful. people died and they deserve their families great sympathy. people are injured. they deserve the best we can give them. this isn't did end of the world. we're not afghanistan or iraq. and no, i think -- i'll make this prediction. people will feel safe in boston fairly soon. part of the answer, though, is, look. i have to repeat this. maybe -- let's reduce the resources. no, let's continue to build up security and then by the way the
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practical matter which is very expensive for the city of bos n boston. overtime. a whole range of people mobilized. i hope we can find revenue. i hope from the federal government so that boston doesn't have to pay for this absolutely necessary expenditure for cutting back on other important services down the line. >> you talk about revenue and inf infrastructure and having the capabilities necessary to repond to something as atrocious as this. do you feel like you're capitalizing and making political hay of this event that happened? >> that i'm capitalizing? >> well, that you're making a political argument about revenue right now. >> yes, exactly. i'm talking common sense. i'm saying that if the sequester had gone through, we had not had enough money we couldn't be able to do this. yeah. i'm making an argument about reality. and i think that's the only sensible response.
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we are spending a great deal of public money here. i'm glad that we are. and yes. i do want maybe for this to have some people be less enthusiastic of reducing the ability to respond to a crisis like this. you're asking me am i trying to make an argument to affect how people make decision about public policy? absolutely. i think this is an important teaching moment about what we need if we're going to live the way we want to live. >> former congressman barney frank, thank you for taking time for us. i appreciate it. >> you're welcome. >> as officials try to determine what happened, family is in mourning today. the picture of the 8-year-old martin richard. the youngest casualty. "the boston globe" reporting he was on the sidewalk with his mom and dad to finish and hugged his father as he crossed and went back to join his mom and sister, that first explosion went off. killing martin, his 6-year-old
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sister and mom as i said seriously injured in the attack. he was a third grader who neighbors describe as a little boy who loved to climb chees trees and hop the fence of his home. outside of the family's home, someone wrote the word "peace" on the sidewalk. a single candle burned at the top of the steps of the front stoop. one thing is certainly for sure, this was an act of terrorism. but was it domestic or was it foreign sponsored? what are the clues investigators now search for? we have that. plus -- >> it was pandemonium. everybody just started running and screaming and you saw people bleeding and, you know, it was just unlike anything i'd ever seen before. >> eyewitnesss recount the horror in the moments after the bombs went off. i'll speak to matt hodgens who described the chaos on the scene and awaiting a statement of president obama at 11:30 this morning live here on msnbc. ♪
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that video captures the terrifies moments, first explosion at the finish line of the boston marathon. fbi and boston police are actively asking the public for any pictures, any video taken at the scene of the marathon explosions. investigators remain on city streets this morning and likely for sometime to come now. law enforcement vowing to do all they can for the city of boston. >> our mission is clear, to bring to justice those responsible for the marathon bombing. the american public wants
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answers, the citizens of the city of boston and the commonwealth of massachusetts want and deserve answers. >> joining me now from washington, d.c., congressman patrick meehan and michael leiter, former director of the national counterterrorism center. congressman, there's heavy security in boston and major cities across the country, including here in new york city. what are the challenges of the national security forces and the first 24 hours following what we saw in boston? >> that's a recognition that you might have some copycat or follow-up events and there's already plans in place that are implemented. i think they're in as a precaution and no indication that i'm aware of any of further activities that people believe they be on the horizon. >> michael, let me ask you how crucial is it during this investigation now that the fbi, the police are asking for the thousands of witnesses who are on the scene there to look over
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what they have and provide them with photos, with images that might be useful? >> it's absolutely critical. there's a lot of video that they'll get from the store owners and from the city of boston and in today's age of smartphones, iphones and the like, there's a tremendous amount of what could be critical evidence in the hands of citizens. a huge amount of work for fbi and others to comb through that and find the relevant information but it will also give an incredible snapshot of that period, that critical period, maybe minutes and hours before the attack to see if something does prove to be relevant or jump out at investigators. >> gentleman, here in new york city, the common phrase is see something, say something. because of the heightened sense of alert that most americans and most people are on right now, we might see an uptick of suspicious activity. one thing handed to me is central terminal in laguardia at the airport evacuated, planes
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pushed back from the terminal. a plen on the runway -- a plane right there. the planes have pushed back from the terminal. so when we talk about the uptick of suspicious activity, congressman, is the greatest rule of thumb right now see something, say something? look for someone in blue? >> yes, it is. to report investigation to be dispelled. i was a u.s. attorney that came in six days after september 11th and we spent a week dealing with reports concerned about the anthrax so there's a natural tendency for people to be seeing something and it's a potential event but we have also done a great job educating law enforcement and others to follow up quickly on information. i want to jump on the point that mike made. this is one of the unique crime scene in that there's so much activity in terms of cameras and other things at that event and it would not be surprising to me that we're going to get material
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evidence that's going to be developed from some of those cameras or other device that is are at the scene. >> mike, let me talk about the complexities we are hearing about the crime scene itself. originally a 15-block radius there toward the finish line of the boston marathon. they have reduced that to a 12-block radius and they hope to shrink it more so that businesses and the normal way of life can get back to routine for some people. but when we talk about the specifics of this and the coverage we have been giving, everybody recognizing that this is a huge day in and around boston for massachusetts. for americans and those around the world might not be familiar and outside of the marathon culture might not be aware of what the boston marathon means and the fact we haven't had anybody claim responsibility for this, does that send up any signals about whether this is domestic born or foreign born? >> as a general matter, no.
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it really is early in the investigation. as you describe, the crime scene is so incredibly complex, there's so much information to be gathered. we now at this point are just understanding what occurred let alone why it occurred and how it occurred. you think about the misinformation out there over past 24 hours with the number of devices. we now know two devices that exploded. where other attacks might have occurred? no. a fire at the jfk library. we have the basic facts clear. you know, my take on this is it's somebody who's probably familiar with the region but whether or not that person or that group is part of an international organization, domestic union, unabomber-type actor, it is really far too early and the investigators doing this are so experience. they know and they will not shut down avenues before they have evidence pointing them in a tighter direction. >> we are showing a plane right there at the logan airport that was on the runway. it was reported surrounded at
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logan. we're working on details of exactly what was going on there. obviously, there is a heightened sense of alert at major city centers around the world, airports, train stations. it's all clear at laguardia earlier where i was telling you about central terminal evacuated. michael, when we look and learn more details about the devices that we know were detonated on site at the marathon, what are the clues that are going to tip off the analysts about whether or not this was a cell phone detonation, whether or not this was a fuse detonation? the sophistication to then set the trail in place for maybe bigger leads? >> that is critical part of the information that will be led by fbi and the alcohol, tobacco and firearms and explosives unit.
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detonator, how did it start? they'll look at how it was controlled and they may well find if, say, cell phones were used to detonate it, they'll find remnants of those phones potentially. all of this will help create a signature and the hope would be that that signature is mapped up, mapped to what previous organizations or individuals have used. again, that's a piece of the information that will then be matched up with the rest of the intelligence collected globally, videotape an the like. >> yeah, again, these were the potential for injury for victims was great but now that's turned on its hill to be thousands of witnesses who might have something krit ccritical on the phones or video cams so people need to think about that and hand it over to the fbi and police. congressman, michael, thank you for joining me. we are expecting the president to speak at 11:30 a.m. this morning. we'll have that for you right here on msnbc. we are back right after this. i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home
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want to keep you up to speed. we are expecting the president to give remarks from the white house briefing room and told just about 20 minutes ago that the president would be making these remarks. obviously, an update on what we saw yesterday in boston. we'll know more here in a moment. don't go anywhere. [ male announcer] surprise -- you're having triplets. [ babies crying ] surprise -- your house was built on an ancient burial ground. [ ghosts moaning ] surprise -- your car needs a new transmission.
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are you in good hands? and "up to 75% lower copays." as a preferred pharmacy, walgreens can save you as much as 75% compared to other select pharmacies. walgreens, at the corner of happy and healthy. welcome back, everybody. once again we are waiting for the remarks from the white house briefing room. the president due that any minute now. a quick update out of boston, the bombings, the update on the totals we understand as authorities in massachusetts gave press briefing from the hospital this morning about patients. right now, there are 103 people being treated. that's down from 176 yesterday. boston's children's hospital says that they have three children in critical condition. and here's president obama. let's listen. >> i've just been briefed by my national security team, including fbi director mueller.
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attorney general holder. secretary napolitano and my counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, lisa monacacm. we deploy all resource to investigate an respond to this attack. obviously our first thoughts this morning are with the victims. their families and the city of boston. we know that two explosions gravely wounded dozens of americans and took the lives of others including an 8-year-old boy. this was a heinous and cowardly act and given what we now know about what took place the fbi is investigating it as an act of terrorism. any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror. what we don't yet know, however, is who carried out this attack
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or why, whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual. that's what we don't yet know. and clearly, we're at the beginning of our investigation. it will take time to follow every lead and determine what happened. but we will find out. we will find whoever harmed our citizens and we will bring them to justice. we also know this. the american people refuse to be terrorized. because what the world saw yesterday in the aftermath of the explosions were stories of heroism and kindness and generosity and love. exhausted runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood and those who stayed to tend to the wounded. some tearing off their own clothes to make turn yets. the first responders who ran in the chaos to save lives.
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the men and women still treating the wounded and the medical students who hurried to help saying when we heard, we all came in. the priests who opened their churches and ministered to the hurt and the fearful. and the good people of boston who opened their homes to victims of this attack and those shaken by it. so if you want the know who we are, what america is, how we respond to evil, that's it. selflessly, compassionately, unafraid. in the coming days we'll pursue every effort to get to the bottom of what happened and remain vigilant. i have directed my administration to take appropriate security measures the protect the american people and this is a good time for all of us to remember that we all have a part to play in alerting authorities if you see something suspicious. speak up. i have extraordinary confidence in the men and women of the fbi, the boston police department and
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the other agencies that responded so heroically and effectively in the aftermath of yesterday's events. i'm very grateful of the leadership of governor patrick and maynor menino and protecting the people the people of boston will continue to respond in the same proud and heroic way that they have thus far. and their fellow americans will be right there with them. thank you very much and you can expect further briefings from our law enforcement officials as the day goes on. when we have more details, they will be disclosed. what i have indicated to you is what we know now. we know was bombs that were set off. we know that obviously they did some severe damage. we do not know who did them. we don't know whether it's an act of an organization or
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individual or individuals. we don't have a sense of motive yet. so, everything else at this point is speculation. but as we receive more information as the fbi has more information, as our counter terrorism teams have more information, we'll make sure to keep you and the american people posted. all right? thank you very much, everybody. >> president obama finishing up a quick briefing there from the white house press room. nbc's kristin welker is live at the white house for us. let's talk about the president being distinct this is an act of terror and makes sure that the definition of whether or not this was a lone wolf or an organized group is still yet to be determined. >> reporter: right. still a lot of unknowns here, thomas. the president saying today what he didn't say yesterday, which is that this is being investigated as an act of terror. i can tell you from my reporting that the president was hesitant to use that term yesterday because this was really still so early in this investigation so
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the president came out yesterday and made his comments saying that the federal government would put their full resources behind determining who was responsible for this and then just a few moments later we got a follow-up statement saying it was investigated as an act of terror. today we heard those words from the president's own mouth so that's really the significance here. and again, he reiterated the fact that the federal government is working in concert with state and local authorities. also made the point that he has been in contact with governor deval patrick and mayor menino and offered prayers and the full resources of the federal government for the investigation and recovery process. i can tell it is still very sort of tense, somber day here at the white house. pennsylvania avenue continues to be closed down to pedestrian traffic. that was the case in the moments after this attack yesterday, thomas, and it continue to be the case.
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the flag here at the white house just lowered to half staff a short while ago. back the you. >> kristin welker at the white house, thanks so much. ron allen is live outside boston massachusetts general hospital and i think you could hear the president there leading off with the fact that the hearts are heavy thinking about those that were killed and maimed in yesterday's explosions. some of the youngest along the sidelines there of the 8-year-old who lost his life and let's talk about how the recovery efforts, what we know about the injuries and how people are doing today. >> well, it's very system ber day here in boston, thomas, no doubt about it. thoughts of children at children's hospital in critical condition. 9-year-old girl, 8-year-old boy. here there are still eight patients in critical condition. i asked the doctors about their prognosis and he said, quote, they will probably be okay. but he was not saying that guaranteeing that they were going to pull this through this
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and patients who have undergone massive surgery and may have more surgeries, amputees, there are at least four amputees here at mass general and others across the city. 17 patients in critical condition still and not 24 hours in to this as of yet. also here, talk about heroism, the staff pulling together. there was a doctor here we understand who was running the marathon, came running in to the who n't to respond to what was going on here and we understand that the emergency rooms were flooded with staff, volunteers. there were people on airplanes from out of town who came to this hospital and others to be involved in the rescue operation. here's what one of the doctors had to say about the emotional toll this is taking on him and the staff here. >> we are all extremely sad. we are suffering emotionally for what happened to the people of boston and many others. at the same time we can't feel
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but proud because the medical community're at mass general responded in an amazing way. one of our physicians was actually running the marathon and dehydrated as he was, he came back immediately after the marathon to offer his help. >> reporter: so a lot of people here trying to focus on the positive, but also, a lot of concern about 17 people who are still in critical condition in area hospitals. thomas? >> ron allen reporting from boston for us, thanks so much. coming up next, we have an alert. the boston bombings through the country, even the world. we'll take a look at how other cities are reacting on high alert now. plus from smiles to tears and then fear. that's how one witness described the attack at the finish line of the boston marathon. or good decisions? ones i've made. ones we've all made. about marriage. children. money. about tomorrow.
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determine whether the upcoming marathon will go on this sunday and evaluating security measures and putting in place plans. in new york city, local and federal law enforcement officials have beefed up security on bridges and train stations. japan's prime minister says police are now monitoring places where large numbers of police congregate. meanwhile, in other cities like moscow, people place flowers at a makeshift memorial at the u.s. embassy. supposed to be a big day in washington. politics, however, rightly so taking a backseat after the bombings. the gang of eight senators canceled the roll-out of immigration bill and still filing it today and former congresswoman gabby giffords is expecting to be on the hill but the news conference was cancel. a new poll shows 86% of americans are in favor of expanding background checks. 13% oppose it and president obama says it's what the people want. >> i think we've got a good
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chance of seeing it pass if members of congress are listening to the american people. the notion that congress would defy the overwhelming instinct of the american people after what we saw happen in newtown, i think, is unimaginable. >> joining me democratic senator of connecticut, chris murphy. sir, it's good to have you here and it was certainly a cruel twist of fate that some of the newtown families were watching the marathon near the explosion because the race is 26th mile dedicated to the victims, a group from newtown. they ran in the honor of those lost. so first off, i want to ask, have you reached out to them? >> they're all safe, thank god. many of them were right at the finish line in the grandstands but they and those running in the memory of those slain in newtown made it out of course and it elevates the tragedy, the
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fact that the race was in honor of those slain in newtown and resulting in three more dead and untold numbers of injured. we know what it's like to have a mass tragedy in connecticut and so our hearts maybe more so than other places in the world go out to the families in boston and we're glad that at least the newtown families are safe. >> sir, as you heard from the president saying that this is an act of terrorism, it's heinous and cowardly and waiting for more definition of whether or not this is the act of a lone wolf domestically or some type of foreign sponsored organization, what's your advice to those that want to jump to conclusions about where the trail may lead? >> well, i mean, i think as we have already seen, so much of the reporting has been wrong, initial reports of far more than three dead, reports of multiple explosive devices beyond those that were at the scene. i think everybody including everybody in the press needs to chill out here. let the investigators do their
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work. hopefully they have some leads here to get them somewhere but i think we don't want to let the public information get ahead of the private investigation. another reminder to americans that you need to be vigilant at all times. we have no idea whether this could have been stopped ahead of time. but whether you're at a major public event or just at your train station or airport, make sure that you're keeping an eye out for anything that looks unusual. we've seen elevated security here at the capitol today. i know that's occurring all over the country but citizen vs a role to play, as well. >> the ripple effect in washington and beyond and you sit on the foreign relations committee. are you expecting briefings coming up? >> i think obviously we want to make sure that the investigators do their work and we'll make sure that our security personnel here in washington and across the country are taking this elevated risk seriously. we want to make sure that to the extent that there are any follow-on plans here that we're making sure that our security
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and our homeland security agency is doing everything to make sure it doesn't happen. but i'm sure we'll have briefings getting more information as to who's responsible for this. >> sir, one thing that's happening today on capitol hill, a group reading names killed by gun violence since newtown and joined by members of the families of the victims of georgia tech and a survivor spoke out a short time ago. >> see such violence continually occurring in this country and no action being taken on the federal level is, frankly, irresponsible and unacceptable. >> irresponsible and unacceptable. sir, your expectations about when you might be able to get back on track with what's going on with gun reform in this country? because obviously, the boston story is going to take precedence. >> yeah. clearly, we are taking a pause today. that may extend further in to
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this week but we can't wait too long to get back to the issue of trying to stop violence across this country. the fact is that though my community is dealing with the tragedy of sandy hook, there's been 3,300-plus people that died across this country by guns since sandy hook. we have to let the nation grieve but we have to get back to work to listen to the american people and still want us in record numbers. 86, 90% of them want us to pass a universal background checks bill and hopefully we can get back to that work either later this week or next week. >> chris murphy of connecticut, thank you for taking the time out for me. i appreciate. >> thanks. >> next, the terror attack described as pandemonium from smiles to tears and then straight to fear. we'll hear from two eyewitnesss on the scene. what are you doing? oh, hey. using night-vision goggles to keep an eye on my spicy buffalo wheat thins to make sure nobody touches them. who's gonna take your wheat thins?
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it was just less than 20 minutes ago that the president gave a white house press
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briefing where he called this attack in boston heinous and a cowardly act. confirming that it was an act of terrorism. but the question of who, why, was it a terrorist organization or some type of domestic lone wolf remains unclear at this point. this is an act of terror that has struck in the heart of the american city of boston at a time when people were just trying to a part of something bigger than themselves, running in the boston marathon. the emotions are still raw in the city of boston as officials try to determine who is responsible. we're hearing firsthand the accounts from runners and spectators on the scene. joining me is rick hansen who ran in the marathon. finishing minutes before the explosion and also matt hodgens a spectator on the sidelines of the street there. gentlemen, it's good to have you with me. matt, i want to start with you, explain where you were when you heard the first explosion and describe what was going through your mind when you were witnessing it? i was about 20 yards from the
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spot of the first explosion when it went off. and i was on my way to meet my wife who was watching the marathon with some friends. and it was like a sound and a force that i had never seen, heard before, i really just shook you right to the core. and everybody was kind of in shock looking around, trying to figure out what exactly was going on. and about ten seconds later. the second explosion went off and that's when you know, you knew that something really awful was happening. kind of chaos and terror set in. everybody started fleeing from the scene, trampling over one another. you saw people bleeding, people crying. people were hysterical. i've never seen anything like it and i hope to never have to see anything like that ever again. >> matt, you recall your first instinct, did you think there was some type of gas explosion or some type of simple -- bidding malfunction that might have caused this? not terrorism? >> when the first explosion went
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off, i thought maybe it was like a transformer or a gas main, and i saw the smoke and i tried to you're just trying to figure out what's going on and the second explosion occurred and that's when you really started to figure out this was not a natural act. >> rick, as i understand it, you had finished the marathon, you were finished by about eight minutes when the first explosion happened and you were heading back to find your friends. when you heard the explosion. so explain to all of us, how far away from the finish line were you at the time of the first explosion? >> yes, i was actually walking back toward the finish line after getting my water bottle and my mile ar blanket, as all the runners do. i decided to go back to the finish and see if i could find my friend who i had run most of the race with. i was just beyond the medical tent. just beyond the finishing line. i would guess somewhere between 100 and 200 feet from the finish.
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>> i know a lot of runners who carry their cell phones on them and their iphones, were you one of those runners? did you have pictures that you've taken that you've considered turning over? >> no. >> i did not have my phone at that point. >>. >> we wish your friend a speedy recovery. what happened to your friend? >> he was not injured. as it turned out, he had finished just before the blast. so he is fine. >> he is fine. well that's good news. gentlemen, thanks for making time for me, i appreciate it this morning. rick hansen, matt hodgens, we send the best to you and yours in boston. that's going to wrap things up for me. i'll see you back at 4:00, filling in with martin, "now" comes next. but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome.
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>> moments ago, president obama updated the country on yesterday's boston marathon bombings. calling it for the first time, an act of terror. >> this was a heinous and cowardly act. and given what we now know biabout what took place, the fbi is investigating it as an terrorism. any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror. >> 21 hours after the event, the president made clear how little is known about what happened in boston yesterday. >> we know it was bombs that were set off. we know that obviously they did some severe damage. we do not know who did them. we do not know whether this is be a act of an organization or an individual or individuals. >> at this time, there is no suspect and no claim of responsibility. hours before the president's news conference, law